The New Best Sellers

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  • Title: The New Best Sellers: Implications of Media Convergence for Best-Seller Theory
  • Author(s): Amrei Katharina Nensel
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Books, Publishing & Libraries
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Book
  • Keywords: Best Seller, Bestseller, Media Convergence, Ebook, Digital Publishing, Publishing Industry, Digitisation, Digitization, Megaseller, Best-Seller List, Sales Ranking, Book Sales
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 1447-9516 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9567 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Nensel, Amrei Katharina. 2017. "The New Best Sellers: Implications of Media Convergence for Best-Seller Theory." The International Journal of the Book 15 (2): 29-38. doi:10.18848/1447-9516/CGP/v15i02/29-38.
  • Extent: 10 pages


As a result of increasing media convergence and the emergence of new formats and outlets for literature, the best-seller terminology needs to be revisited and revised. This article examines the best-seller theory against the backdrop of the current publishing environment and brings a new perspective to the ongoing debate on what constitutes a best seller. The author discusses the validity of formerly established criteria such as region, medium, and outlet and argues in favour of a more comprehensive understanding of the best-seller phenomenon. The article provides an overview of the contributions in this field and the existing best-seller terminology, drawing on the works of Escarpit, Sutherland, Bloom, Grøn, Helgason, Kärrholm, and Steiner. To reflect the changes in the publishing environment and the consequently more complex constellation of best-seller criteria, the study specifies and adds to the terminology of the field.